A Klamath Falls man was found dead Nov. 7 at a hotel in rural Eastern Oregon.

Lewis Milton Brightman, 59, of Klamath Falls died at the scene.

According to the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call was made around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7 asking for an ambulance to respond to the Antlers Hotel in Ukiah, Oregon, for an unresponsive male.

According to the sheriff’s office, CPR was being performed at the time of the 911 call. Pendleton Fire Department medics arrived at the scene and declared the man dead.

Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office deputies also arrived on scene and requested the presence of a detective. The sheriff’s office requested an autopsy because the cause of death could not be determined. The autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9 and results are pending. The investigation remains ongoing.

The sheriff’s office said further information will be released when appropriate.

Brightman, who was employed by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office for decades, retired from his post as the senior corrections deputy in May of 2020, KCSO confirmed.

“He (Brightman) was very good at his job, and we were happy when he was able to retire because that was something he looked forward to for a long time,” Klamath County Sheriff, Chris Kaber said. “And we are very sad that he has passed away. A lot of people here were close to him and we feel for him as well as his family.”

“He was a very well thought of employee at the Sheriff’s Office.”

According to KCSO records, Brightman was hired in October of 1989, and Kaber said ever since he returned to Klamath Falls in 1990 he always remembered Brightman working at the jail.

Kaber said he is unable to comment on the specifics of the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office’s ongoing investigation into Brightman’s sudden death. Kaber said the situation is out of his hands, and that the information his office has at the moment is unsubstantiated. So, it would be inappropriate for him to comment, he added.